The War for Intelligence

The Intelligence take the octopus by the head
photo from the Intelligence MySpace

Do you ever wish you were smarter? If the answer to that question is yes, I have just the thing for you. The new album from Seattle’s the Intelligence, and if that’s not enough how about two new albums from the Intelligence? The first new album, Fake Surfers, is the one I’ve been looking forward to since seeing them play a lot of it back in December at the Sunset Tavern. Fake Surfers is album number four and their third on In The Red. 2007’s Deuteronomy seemed like a major step forward for the band, with leader Lars Finberg shedding his bedroom lo-fi tendencies to make a record in a real studio. Fake Surfers was recorded down in the OC and continues the cleaner sound of Deuteronomy, but not the band’s skewed take on pop. It seems like there are a lot of acoustic guitars throughout the record, which is something I’ve not noticed on previous records. Don’t let the acoustic guitars scare you off, because Finberg and company have certainly not lost their cockeyed and warped pop sensibilities. What I mean is that every song has big meaty hooks, but there are always strange descending atonal vocals, strange keyboard flourishes, weirdly tuned guitar noises or Lars yelling I don’t have time for squids making everything sound just a little off. But in the universe of the Intelligence everything that is off is of course right on. Fake Surfers is 11 new originals and a cover of Wounded Lion’s Pony People.   They could have included songs from any one of the handful of  singles they’ve put out on Plastic Idol, Raw Deluxe and April 77, but the only song that I had previously heard was Debt & ESP that came out on Plastic Idol last Year.

Apparently not content to put out just one record at a time, the Intelligence have two coming out. To the apparent ignorance of most everyone (me included until I read Victim of Time), French label Born Bad has just released another new Intelligence record called Crepuscule with Pacman.  This one is a more lo-fi affair with the ever prolific Finberg locked in a room with an eight-track creating more warped pop mayhem.    The fact that these guys have flown under the radar for so long is probably only due to the fact that the band almost treat self-promotion as a major sin.  A while ago, I remember a timid announcement from the band that they were going to start selling some of their records on their MySpace page.  It was almost an apology for venturing into capitalistic means to support and promote their band.  Instead the Intelligence choose the old school way of taking to the road and touring like crazy.  They just started a short west coast jaunt before heading off to Europa for a couple months.  I’d like to think by the time they get back to the states the kids will have finally figured it out, and the Intelligence will be huge.  When asked the question, are you a fan of Intelligence, people will realize they’d be fools to say no.

mp3: The Intelligence – Thank You God For Fixing The Tape (from the forthcoming Fake Surfers)

You can get Fake Surfers from In the Red and Crepuscule with Pacman from Born Bad, and the long list of tour dates after the click:

Apr 16       accident gallery     Eureka
Apr 17       annie’s social club     San Francisco w/Thee Oh Sees & Ty Segal
Apr 18       spaceland     Los Angeles
Apr 19       soda bar     San Diego
Apr 20       the biko     Isla vista
Apr 21       luigi’s fun garden     Sacramento
Apr 22       stork club     Oakland
Apr 24       east end     Portland
Apr 25       wild rose    Seattle
Apr 30       L’autre Canal     Nancy
May 1       Bunker     Bruxelle
May 2       L’abordage     Evreux
May 4       Le Saint Des Seins     Toulouse
May 5       Live Factory     Nantes
May 6       Cave Aux Poetes     Roubais
May 7       La Peniche     Chalons sur Saone
May 8       Woodstock Boogie Bar     Limoges
May 9       La Cooperatice de Mai     Clermont Ferrant
May 11       Molodoi     Strasbourg
May 13       Point Ephemere     Paris
May 14       TBA     Bordeaux
May 15       TBA     Orleans/Bergerac
May 16       Confort Moderne     Poitier
May 25       Bomberena     Tolosa
May 26       Wurlitzer Ballroom     Madrid
May 27       Side Car     Barcelone
May 28       Magazine Club     Valencia
May 30       Festival Mixed Up     Beauvais
May 31       Le Sambre     Rennes
Jun 1          Vlas Vegas Festival     Korttrijk
Jun 2         Bar Mundial     Anvers
Jun 3        TBA     Holland
Jun 4        Boat Music Festival     Stockholm
Jun 5        Club     Stockholm
Jun 6        Gloria Flames     Oslo
Jun 7        Loppen     Copenhagen
Jun 10        Sonic Ballroom     Koln
Jun 11        Paradisio     Amsterdam
Jun 12         Patronnat     Harlem
Jun 13        Aucard de Tour     Tours


  1. Jason · August 19, 2009

    Great take on these guys, well done.

  2. Wolfgang · July 3, 2010

    That year i kinda won the war for Intelligence and got them their first ever gig in Berlin on June 9(not listed above).

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